Winning captain Ross Taylor shares a hongi with Ray Kingi, carver of the greenstone Mere. Photosport

The Mere heads North

A clinical display with bat and ball has seen the North Island swipe aside their Southern rivals, the defendings title-holders, by six wickets in the 2016 Island of Origin match at the Basin Reserve.

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View the scenes and reaction as the match unfolded

The inability to create a partnership of note hindered the South, a career best four-wicket bag from Ish Sodhi seeing them dismissed for 126 after 19.2 overs.

Legspinner Ish Sodhi kept attacking

It took just 13 overs for the North to overcome that target, largely thanks to George Worker who made a crisp 53 from 30 deliveries.

George Worker made a sizzling half century in 29 balls

The Devon Hotel Central Stags opener got the pursuit off to a rollicking start, crunching eight fours and two sixes in smart fashion.

At 80/1, the North was within 50 runs of victory, and had two established batsmen in Worker and Colin Munro (18) at the crease.

But the South managed to rally and apply a little pressure when both fell in quick succession and then Grant Elliott knicked off second ball as Adam Milne zeroed in for a wicket maiden.

Further wickets were the South's only hope, however, the required run rate posing the North no challenge.

North Island captain Ross Taylor stood in their way. The returning BLACKCAPS batsman looked good en route to an unbeaten 26, combining with Luke Ronchi (14*) to see his side across the line.

Earlier, the South had been unable to build on the platform set by Dean Brownlie (29) and Tom Latham (15).

Losing their first wicket with 35 on the board, the South's middle order order failed to fire and, from a good start, they soon found themselves in a precarious position at 84/6.

The trend of losing wickets didn't stop there, Sodhi maintaining the momentum for the North and helping finish off the tail.

Marty Kain invented a quick 14 off nine balls

A quickfire 18 from Jacob Duffy provided some resistance at the end, but it was too little too late.

Jacob Duffy gets under it

Scores from the inaugural contest last year were settled as the North raised the Mere, comprehensive winners on this occasion.



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